Hope you got the special specs out last night because the 3-D episode of Chuck was actually pretty impressive. Granted, I was watching in HD and with the proper yellow-and-blue eyewear, but I was legitimately wowed by the special effects: Chuck's flashes seemed particularly well-suited for the technology. But even without the extra dimensions, the episode still worked on the regular ol' funny-spy-stuff level. Ready to chat? Just read more.
I'm actually glad we had a break between the emotional Christmas episode and this 3-D extravaganza, because the two were so different in tone that it might have felt like whiplash otherwise. This episode takes a step back from all the Fulcrum mysteries; it's just a good, old-fashioned mission, with some funny Buy More antics thrown in.
But the episode doesn't completely back away from what happened at Christmas. Chuck's still thrown by seeing Sarah shoot someone in cold blood. It's even coming up in his nightmares (though whether 3-D Yvonne Strahovski greeting you in bed is a nightmare for any guy can probably be debated). For much of the episode, Chuck's confusion manifests itself as burnout: He'd give anything for a night off, but instead, he's dangling from elevators and dodging death. Finally, though, he tells Sarah what's really bothering him. And naturally, he gets his night off, but as soon as he hears that Sarah and Casey are off on a mission, he's back in the car, ready to go. (Love how much that also ruined Casey's idea of a good time, namely a case without Bartowski.)
Meanwhile, Dominic Monaghan cracked me up as Tyler Martin, who's such a squirrely party boy that he ends up on the business end of Casey's tranquilizer gun more than once. Of course he was going to escape when left alone with Chuck; what I didn't expect is that he'd show Chuck a good time courtesy of some tequila shots. (Also, Chuck's British accent wasn't too bad!) In short order, they're whisked up to a hotel room by some dangerous women, who strip Chuck to his boxers and throw knives at him. He ends up riding to (relative) safety on a plate-glass outdoor elevator, but not before interrupting the romantic fumblings of the same couple from the John Larroquette episode. Ha! I also liked the way Chuck convinces Tyler to take the stage and then saves the day with some well-timed crowd surfing.
It might have been even funnier if some of Chuck's Buy More colleagues had showed up at the concert, since they managed to plow through all of Tyler's CDs to get a coveted golden ticket. The Butterman plotline had me chuckling all night, especially with all the "Final Countdown" music cues and 3-D sandwich-gobbling. (Also, shout-out to Jerome Bettis; between him and Michael Strahan, Chuck has become the prime acting vehicle for ex-NFL stars.) Loved the Molly Ringwald underpants moment (Lester: "I'm a man!") and shuddered at Jeff eating the urinal cake ("I still win, right?"). And it was adorable to see Morgan swayed by the plight of an ex-con who spent years with only five kinds of soda.
Some other thoughts:
- Please tell me I'm not the only one who saw the Tyler Martin fans in the Buy More and thought of Rex Manning day.
- Now that I think about it, tattoos would actually be a clever way to move international secrets.
- Sarah's solution to the "How do we grab a rock star in broad daylight?" problem: wave sexily.
- Chuck's pre-shot toast: "See you guys in the emergency room!"
Your thoughts? How did the 3-D work out for you? And where does Monaghan rate on a list of this season's guest stars?
Photos courtesy of NBC